Back in 1999, Jason Swann was injured in a DUI crash. The incident caused him to face many health complications, like losing his ability to talk and carry out tasks on his own.
“Jason was hit by a drunk driver two days before Christmas and we were told he would not survive, but he did,” explained Lynite Leggett, Jason’s mother. “His mind is fine, he has what we call a brain stem injury. His mind is okay, but over the past several years, he went into organ failure.”
Jason was eventually put on dialysis, however getting him to those frequent treatments quickly became a challenging task for his family. So, nursing staff at Fresenius Kidney Care in Joplin gave his mother the training to take care of Jason in their home.
“I love what I do, this is the best job anyone could ever have,” said Fresenius nurse Cindy Schaffer. “Once I got here, they made me feel like I was part of the family, they have an awesome support system.”
And, Jason’s mom says if it weren’t for that training, Jason may not be here right now.
“It was something I wanted to do when I knew Jason needed it because at home, this worked out great for us because he’s in a wheelchair, he’s on a vent, it’s hard to get him to town. It’s hard to get him anywhere so, for us to do it at home, it’s saved his life,” Leggett added.
And while Jason’s movements may be minimal, his personality is still big. He communicates with his mother and nurse through blinking and by cracking a smile. Especially when he looks at his room — decorated with memorabilia of his favorite team, the Alabama Roll Tide.
The crash back in 1999 affected Jason’s whole family. In fact, the accident inspired his brother to become a police officer in the Joplin Police Department’s DUI division.